Friday, 24 August 2012

Interpreting popular dream themes (3) - Teeth

One of the most popular dream themes is ‘teeth’, in particular dreams of teeth falling out.  One theory of teeth dreams is that they represent anxieties about appearance and how others perceive you. Teeth are an important part of appearance and are easily noticeable. They also play an important role in flirtation, particularly because the actions of smiling and kissing draw close attention to the mouth. In my own opinion, teeth may be significant in dreams because of two societal associations between teeth and general health and wellbeing. Firstly, teeth are required for survival. Whilst civilised humans may not require teeth for weapons, they are still necessary for eating – without teeth, we are unable to chew our food and would starve to death unless fed by others (for example, in hospital) or forced to exist on a liquefied diet. Secondly, bad teeth (lost or rotten) is not only unattractive, but are intrinsically associated with substandard personal hygiene, through poverty or unfortunate circumstance (unavoidable) or choice (neglect or misadventure i.e. drug/alcohol use or poor diet). Traditionally, dreaming that you had no teeth was thought to be an indication that the dreamer was suffering from malnutrition. Therefore dreams of teeth may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. To support this notion, dream research found that women in menopause report to have frequent dreams about teeth, pointing to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine. Tooth loss in a dream suggests and also points to a particular energy loss, in some cases even that the sexual potency is at risk, what makes teeth appear also sexually significant. Bite desires in a dream suggests, that you would like to ‘eat’ or consume your love or sex partner. If young girls lose their teeth in a dream, the symbol may relate to the loss of virginity or inhibition in interpersonal relationships. Teeth that fail in the dream may also indicate feelings of guilt in love.

A further rationalisation for teeth dreams is that they may represent a deep fear of being embarrassed or making a fool of yourself in a given situation. Teeth dreams are an over-exaggeration of such worries and anxieties and suggest that you are unprepared for a task at hand.

Because teeth are associated with biting, tearing and chewing they obviously represent power. Losing teeth in a dream may be symbolic of feelings of powerlessness or problems in expressing yourself and getting your voice heard. You may be experiencing feelings of inferiority or lack of self-confidence in social situations or relationships. The dream may be an indication that you need to assert yourself more in waking-life or have faith in the importance of what you have to say.

A scriptural interpretation for bad or falling teeth indicates that you are putting your faith, trust and beliefs in what man thinks, rather than in the word of God. Many cultures, including the Hispanic and Greek cultures, believe that when you dream about loose, rotten, falling, or missing teeth, then it indicates that a family member or close friend is very sick or even near death. According to the Chinese tradition, there is a saying that your teeth will fall out if you are telling lies and thus dreaming of losing teeth may indicate a conscious acknowledgment of your own dishonesty or guilt over your deception. It has also been said that if you dream of your teeth falling out, then it symbolises money. This is based on the old tooth fairy story. If you lose a tooth and leave it under the pillow during sleep, a tooth fairy would bring you money. In Native American folklore, teeth falling out in a dream symbolises that you may be coming into an involvement with money. It is said that the involvement may be beneficial or harmful, but the events in the dream may not specify which will happen.

Some interpretations of teeth in dreams suggest that they represent envy, greed or devouring instincts. To clean or wash your teeth, foretells that some great struggle will be demanded of you in order to preserve your fortune. Another interpretation of dreams about brushing your teeth is that this indicates that you may need to borrow money from relatives. If you dream of gold teeth then this indicates a state of and happiness. To dream that you are having a set of teeth made, denotes that severe crosses will fall upon you, and you will strive to throw them aside, whilst dreaming that you have your teeth knocked out, denotes sudden misfortune or loss.

If you dream that your baby or child loses its teeth then this indicates that you need to move on in your life as you or childhood years are behind you, whilst dreaming of the tooth fairy indicates that you need to reward yourself in some way shape or form. It is clear that you have working too hard recently or are overworked. If your dream involves wearing a brace, then this indicates that you have been feeling that you will not been heard and that you have been restrained or rendered voiceless in conversations with more superior people. To dream that a child has gaps in their teeth suggests that you have been feeling hurt by a family member. If you are struggling to communicate to a large audience or to one person because of your teeth then this shows that there is a deep sense of feeling inadequate in social gatherings. It is time for you to get your confidence back. To dream about your wisdom teeth indicates new or emerging knowledge. You are learning something new about yourself. Alternatively, the dream may be telling you to act more smartly about a situation. Make sure to think things through clearly.

If you are grinding your teeth in your dream then this determines or loss of honesty and integrity. If you dream that you are examining your teeth or alternatively visit the dentist for a routine appointment then this is an indication that it is important for you to be careful of your affairs. Toothpicks in your dream would indicate that you feel frustration in trying to communicate with other people. If you dream of cleaning your teeth with toothbrushes then you need to make sure you think before you speak. According to Freudian symbolism, the mouth is generally associated with the feminine side of a person so the dream of teeth is often associated with improving relationships and communications with a female people in the future. Dreaming that one tooth is longer than the others portends sad news, whilst buckteeth augur unexpected travel. Bridgework is a suggestion that you should be more meticulous in meeting your obligations. A dream featuring the roots of your teeth is a warning against lending money or gambling. To dream of having a nerve removed predicts a season or period of good luck.

Big teeth suggest strength, power, or ability to harm, depending on dream. Especially in animal dreams it tends to show fear of being hurt or of aggression. Small teeth show the opposite, except that in a few dreams the small teeth belong to a snake or are poisonous in some way, suggesting something or someone putting emotionally damaging feelings in you – perhaps through ‘biting’ remarks. The canine teeth are what are left of larger teeth our ancestors used to defend themselves or warn off attackers. So the canine would particularly indicate your ability to defend yourself, or be powerful in the world – particularly for men. Teeth may, therefore, be perceived as a symbol of overt aggression in a dream – especially if you dream of biting someone, which is an expression of hostility. 

Losing a canine or canines might indicate that at times you feel more vulnerable or less confident. This might be accompanied by greater feelings of vulnerability. There might be some painful experience underlying such feelings. The clenching of teeth in a dream usually symbolises an enormous amount of tension, but we also grit or grind our teeth when holding back great physical or emotional pain, anger or despair. Seeing ‘dirty’ or ‘poisonous’ teeth in your dream suggests there is perhaps some sort of attitude that is obvious to others as you speak, and might also be influencing your body, or be injected by a bite. Dracula-type teeth have a similar meaning, but the ‘vampire’ teeth indicate that you are being injected and thereby influenced by someone else’s subtle drive to control you or poison your feelings or mind. If you have vampire teeth, you need to ask yourself if you are trying to negatively influence someone else or using them like a parasite. Finding a tooth may mean finding a part of you that was lost or memories of yourself (at the age when we lost our teeth) or may even relate to memories of a dead friend.

Dreaming about animal teeth could represent a part of you that has not been tamed yet or resists the pressure of external influences, such as education, culture, family or peer pressure. The connection with animals in dreams reminds us of our instinctual nature. If your dream contains disturbing or negative content, such as losing teeth, having your teeth pulled out, the animal teeth could represent feelings of aggression. The aggression could be felt towards someone or could be experienced by you as coming from the outside. Consider the kind of animal the teeth belong to and search for the corresponding meanings. For instance, do the teeth look like they are from a canine or feline? How big are they? The larger the tooth or teeth, the bigger the issue or concern the dream is pointing to. If you are dreaming about having an animal tooth or teeth in place of your normal teeth, your dream could indicate that you are in the process of integrating parts of your personality or emotions that are typically considered too wild or not suitable. If you are losing teeth or your teeth fall out, you may be releasing or would like to let go of parts that you feel are unsuitable.

If you have animal teeth, you are perhaps trying to integrate your instinctual or wilder emotions into your life. Depending on how you feel in the dream, this process may be easy or offer some resistance. Pay attention to symbols of loss and renewal.

To dream of tartar or any deposit falling off of the teeth and leaving them sound and white, is a sign of temporary indisposition, which will pass, leaving you wiser in regard to conduct, and you will find enjoyment in the discharge of duty. A dream of admiring your teeth for their whiteness and beauty symbolises the experience of pleasant occupations and much happiness; and the fulfilment of wishes and desires. If you dream that a dentist cleans your teeth perfectly, and the next morning you find them dirty, foretells someone you trust will deceive you.

Dreams of having your teeth pulled out are not thought to symbolise fear of ageing. Instead, they represent feelings of being ‘pulled’ in the wrong direction by another person or forced into doing something you do not want to do. If you are pulling out your own teeth, it may symbolise a need to slow down. Dreams of having teeth pulled out may come during times of significant transition. The dream imagery symbolises how painful or difficult the experience is for you as you go through changes. The changes in your life may be experienced as an aggression or be emotionally painful. Perhaps it’s like extracting yourself from your comfort zone, which often comes with facing loss, challenges and disturbing emotions. According to Carl Jung, if you dream about having a tooth or teeth pulled out and you are a woman, the dream symbolises giving birth, either literally or symbolically such as giving birth to a new self or a project. Your dream about pulling out teeth indicates that you are becoming more aware of your emotions. As such, it a sign that you are growing into self discovery, even if may at times feel painful.

Dreams of swallowing teeth, especially when experienced by women, often relate to conception and birth. The throat and Eustachian tubes have a similar shape to the uterus and fallopian tubes, so can depict conception or fear of it. In ancient cultures, a tooth was extracted and swallowed as part of a death and rebirth symbol. This may have arisen from the observation of losing one’s baby teeth and the growth of new teeth, suggesting the power of renewal. Swallowing teeth might also suggest ‘swallowing ones words’.

Dreams of rotten teeth are incredibly common – they are thought to be one of the most popular types of teeth dream. Typically, they are thought to symbolise anxieties about anxieties regarding people or events surrounding us in our current waking-life. Anything depicted as ‘rotting’ in a dream is a symbol that all is not good, and therefore need to be analysed carefully.  Rotting indicates that something has been damaged or gone bad. Other dream content – such as location and characters appearing in the same dream may give clues as to the underlying problem illustrated by the dream symbol of rotting teeth. Broken or chipped teeth may also imply that something requires your attention before it falls apart. These dreams may occur during periods where our waking selves are attempting to ‘fix’ something, such as a broken relationship. If the dream features someone else trying to break your teeth, this may indicate that someone is trying to ‘break you down’ in some respect. It may also mean that you need to keep your mouth shut. Noticing someone else with broken teeth symbolises your feelings of sympathy for that person. A dream about teeth breaking can be interpreted as a warning about the cost of a decision or action. You may have or are about to make a choice that compromises with your real needs or desires. Broken teeth may represent the emotional pain that comes with such a choice. A costly compromise is like losing a part of you or denying important needs. Through an image related to the body, a broken tooth or teeth, your dream is most likely pointing to the emotional pain that your decision triggered. A meaning of a dream about teeth breaking could be that you are “breaking” yourself and your sense of balance in order to satisfy others or goals that do not serve you well in the end. Dreaming about broken teeth could be a warning about a course of action you have chosen and its potential drawbacks. A broken teeth dream is an invitation to look at the path you have chosen. Check if you are losing sight of yourself and your true needs by going after some ideals that may not align with who you truly are or by compromising too much to fit with other people’s expectations.

Dreaming of loose teeth indicate that you may feel unsettled or unsure about what to do regarding an important matter in your waking life. Loose teeth typically symbolise a state of instability or indecisiveness. A dream about loose teeth could very well be a pun on the word ‘loose’ - have you been loosening up lately regarding a topic that used to be or is sensitive? Another interpretation of this type of teeth dream is about feeling you were too permissive or allowed something to happen that is now tinted with regret. Do you feel you have been too ‘loose’? The dream meaning of a loose tooth or loose teeth is anchored in feelings of worry, even perhaps the fear of losing something of high value to you. The dream may be a warning about a decision you have to make in order to preserve your integrity. The interpretation of dream about loose teeth could point to the need to protect yourself against influences, external or internal, behaviours or personal habits that could be detrimental to your health or emotional balance. A loose teeth dream provides you a useful feedback on the decision you’ve made or have not made yet. Listen to the kinds of feelings that are present in the dream and as you wake up as they will guide you to connect the meaning of your teeth dream with current life situations.

Cavities, tooth pain or other tooth-related ailments often symbolise a harsh exchange of words. If you try to keep your mouth closed to hide the problem with your teeth in the dream, this may symbolise a need to remain quiet and listen to others. The idea that teeth loss in dreams symbolises the importance of discretion is very common – many interpretations suggest that lost teeth represent revealed secrets.  Having a root canal in a dream can be very powerful. The emotion of the dreamer is very important when interpreting this particular symbol. A root canal symbolises the dreamer getting to the ‘root’ of a long-term issue that has caused pain for the dreamer and has frequently resulted in the dreamer not expressing him/herself, using sarcasm as a defence mechanism, using bitter words towards others defensively to emotionally harm others before they have the opportunity to harm him/her, or simply putting on a brave smile while hiding pain. The emotion felt by the dreamer during this dream is telling. If this was a nightmare or anxiety-provoking dream, it could simply reflect the dreamer’s fear of dentistry or the dreamer’s fears of exploring this core issue that has permeated their life and affected their social behaviour. Being relieved and positive about the root canal indicates the individual has made tremendous personal progress towards resolving the long-term issue and moving on with more security, confidence, and new sincerity and genuineness in social and intimate relationships.

Teeth falling out represent, for the most part, general anxieties about life and loss of control. These common dreams often occur when the dreamer is under pressure or stress in their waking-life. Common interpretations of dreams involving teeth loss include:
  1. Stressed about your job situation
  2. Fear of being impotent/impotency
  3. Afraid looking stupid in front of people/embarrassment
  4. Stress about getting older/trying to stay young and maintain a youthful appearance
  5. Have you lied to somebody?
  6. Lacking power/control in a relationship
  7. Attachment issues – trying to hold onto something which is evading you/which has been part of your life for a long time
  8. Your goals have been set too high and you are crashing down to earth
  9. Trying to conceal/cover something up
  10. Afraid of losing money/being abandoned
  11. Fear of failure
  12. Times of transition and change/personal growth and challenging personal limitations
  13. Self-expression and personal nourishment
  14. People have commented on how you go about activities in your life
  15. You have got an overwhelming sense of struggling in order to keep up with buying material possessions in your life
Recurring dreams about teeth loss may indicate that you have neglected a waking problem for too long and need to pay attention to it. Some interpretations of teeth loss indicate that this may refer to a ‘return to infancy’ – toothlessness is associated with sucking as the mother’s breast. A negative meaning for dreams of tooth loss sees losing a tooth or teeth as a symbol for something you are giving up in your waking life. You may be facing a situation where you have to make costly compromises and the trade-off is not satisfying. Worse, the dream could reveal that you’re not getting what you need and are engaged in a painful situation. Dreaming that you’re losing your teeth is a reminder that you either made a decision or are about to make one that feels like a heavy compromise and could generate emotional suffering if not dealt with it consciously. A positive meaning for this type of teeth dream associates tooth loss imagery with giving birth to something new in your life. Jung suggests that, especially for women, dreaming about losing a tooth or teeth relates to birthing. Losing teeth in your dream is an indicator of your ambivalence or the cost of a compromise you’ve been making. A losing teeth dream is a call to examine the reasons behind a decision you’ve made or have to make and how you feel about preserving the status quo or changing how things are.

Dreaming about losing a tooth or teeth draws the dreamer’s attention to important questions:
  1. Will you maintain the direction over the long term, make small adjustments or take a totally new course?
  2. How willing or able are you to tolerate the discomfort or tension of the situation you are in?
  3. What do you need to better align your life or living conditions with your priorities?
Other interpretations of teeth loss in dreams suggest that are symbols for family and relatives upper ones are ‘male’ and lower ones are ‘female’. According to this theory of interpretation, front teeth are siblings/children and molar teeth are parents or grandparents. The others represent uncles and aunts and other family members. If the teeth fell and were in your hand or were beside you, it means the family member will come to visit you. If the teeth were lost or fell in the soil, dirt means there will be a serious danger for them. This interpretation appeared on the Wiki Answers page, but is fairly obscure and does not appear in many other dream dictionary or symbolist information sites, although one Blog suggested that this particular interpretation has origins in Hindu tradition.

There may also be a more direct implication to your dream: you may have a dental problem of which your conscious mind is not yet aware. However, Sigmund Freud thought that dreams of teeth falling out represented an unconscious desire to masturbate. Castration and masturbatory fantasies (fellatio and cunnilinguis) are frequently linked to dreams of tooth loss in Freudian psychoanalytic theory of dream interpretation. The most common interpretation of finding yourself toothless in a dream is a loss of effectiveness, or again, feelings about ageing. Choking on a tooth may symbolise that you have given up something for the benefit of others. If you dream that you've actually lost your teeth and you can't find them and that you can feel them in your mouth then this shows you're about to enter into an engagement which is not going to please you. You are going to find yourself in a difficult situation with associates or friends and the best course of action is to actually decline this offer - this may be a party or a work event. If new teeth grow back or you have additional teeth then this signifies the outcome of what is likely to happen in the future. If they are bright and whiter then things are likely to be better. If they are bad or rotten then things are likely to be difficult for some time.

Dreaming of false teeth is symbolic of dishonesty or breaking rules. You may have done something in your waking-life to hurt someone – perhaps by revealing a secret or saying something inappropriate. False teeth represent covering up or concealing something. Teeth may be symbolic of a lack of sincerity

Spitting out teeth in a dream symbolise fear of ageing and losing your looks. An alternative meaning is that you are admitting something that you have held back or kept quiet for some time. You are expressing it in a blunt and forthright manner.

A dream of touching your teeth symbolises that you have control over situations in your life. To notice your gums in your dream suggests that you are having difficulties communicating your emotions or thoughts. If your gums are sore, then it means that you have been holding back those negative emotions and thoughts for too long. You need to let go and start expressing your emotions. If you dream that your gums are bleeding and you subsequently have a lot of blood loss, then this indicates a loss of some type of argument or conflict. Another interpretation of bleeding gums is that you feel that there is a lack of support around you. To dream that a thick, gray discharge is oozing out of your gums implies that you need to confront some fear or depression. You may have been trying to avoid these feelings.
 
 

Dream 82

I was in PC's (my nan's) living-room, in her home in Sheringham. It was daylight. I could feel that there was something wrong with my left cheek. I went to the mirror above the fireplace to have a look. I appeared reasonably similar to the way I do in real-life, except my hair was light blonde and very wavy, not black. I could see a small hole in my cheek. I poked my finger into the hole in my cheek to examine it, and started pulling at whatever was inside. It was tuna fish - like the canned variety. I kept pulling huge chunks of tuna out of my cheek, it wouldn't stop coming. I felt a little worried, but not too much. My face now looked really unattractive as the greyish looking chunks of tuna were bursting out of the huge gash in the side of my left cheek. There was no blood visible. I woke up.

Dream 81

The first scene of this dream took place in an interior setting, of which I am unable to recall any detail, except that there was a medium sized round wooden table. There were other people in the room, but I cannot recall who they were either. I was being asked to choose something - I am not sure for what purpose, but my options were either a witch-like woman, dressed in a black cape, with a huge green boa constrictor snake draped across her shoulders causing her to walk with a hunchback; or a similar looking witch, walking upright, carrying a basket of snakes. I said to the group that I was with that we should make the decision using scale models. I moved a couple of feet towards the table and saw that there were miniature models of the two snake witches, about the size of War Hammer figures. I thought that these models were smaller than War Hammer figures, and in the dream, tried to 'remember' the actual size of War Hammer. I held my hand up, estimating the size with the gap between my index finger and thumb. 

I was then on a balcony at night. It seemed like a holiday destination - I could see the ocean in the background. Nicole Kidman was there, in a white dress. Behind her, hugging her, sitting on the balcony railing was a 'Greek man' (I was not introduced to him, I just perceived him to be Greek). I thought to myself: 'why does my mum think she is so pretty?' Her forehead seemed very beige and big/shiny.

Next, I was in the kitchen of my London home, making a huge pan of spicy tomato soup. It was boiling, bubbling up to the top of the pan. My attention was distracted and I went upstairs for a moment. I'm not sure what happened while I was upstairs, as almost immediately I found myself back in the kitchen, intending to eat some of the soup. As I walked through the door, I saw a stack of dirty washing up. The pan of soup was gone - the empty, dirty pan was on the counter. I felt annoyed and disappointed.

I was then back, making a choice between the figurines of the snake witches. I chose the one with the hunchback and the green boa around her shoulders/neck. I saw a vision of her, full-size. I woke up.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Lucid dreaming, online 'dream explorers' & recreational drugs

I'm going to use this opportunity to discuss an issue I have found amongst the online dream explorer community. This is not always a particularly friendly 'community', mainly because there is a huge cross-over with drug-culture on the internet and, as a result, the boundaries between lucid dreaming advice and pro-drugs discussion become blurred. I have found many well-educated or dedicated online people who are friendly and willing to share their expertise and experiences, but sadly, these people tend to be in the minority. I myself spend a fair amount of time on the internet researching lucid dreaming and therefore visit many sites and forums dedicated to the topic. Where I feel I am able to offer my assistance to those more inexperienced than myself, I will often contact individuals, either directly (by email, which has never provoked any negative responses) or by posting on said forum/discussion board. I always post my Blog updates on my Twitter (click on button at top of right-hand column to follow me, I will always follow back!) and on my Facebook profile, for friends and family (I usually end up having to email one or two of them to tell them they made an appearance in my dream, as I always inform my real-life ‘dream characters’ as soon as the report is written up – sometimes a little embarrassing depending on content!) and overall, I have had a very positive response to my work. Whenever I discover a Blog or website which I find interesting, I usually offer feedback to the author, but only if my comment is (a) positive and complimentary; or (b) educational/instructional and such help has been sought by the author or there is an open debate. I do not, however, wade into the debates into drugs and lucid dreaming, because I am only too aware that my views – as expressed in this article – will not be welcomed amongst those discussing the topic online. When I refer to these online ‘dream explorers’, of course, I am isolating a distinct category from the masses – those who recklessly promote the use of recreational, illegal drugs and controlled substances amongst inexperienced lucid dreamers under the guise of proffering expert advice.

When it comes to drugs, I don't really need to learn anything from forums on the internet - not only have I had many friends with serious drug problems, but I have worked extensively in criminal defence law upon completing my undergraduate my law degree (I am not a qualified Barrister, not practicing and a PhD in criminal law) and have wide experience of dealing with drugs; drug laws and drug-users/criminal justice institutions involved in drug treatment, rehabilitation and prevention, both in the community and prisons. I am a freelance writer and therefore also spend time researching various aspects of drugs culture as well as seeing and learning about the practicalities of drug production, sales and use from first-hand experience. I am not being judgmental about the use of recreational drugs - I believe it is a matter of choice for the individual and I socialise with people whose views on drugs are more liberal and 'pro' than my own, without any issue or conflict. I'm open-minded about people using drugs, but never about those who push them onto others or downplay the detrimental effects and tragedies that drug use can entail. For every person I know who has had a positive experience using a given drug, there is someone who has suffered a negative one - from mental health problems, financial difficulties; loss of university place/job; relationship or family breakdown; to legal problems.

The active chemicals in drugs are often just mimicking what our brains are naturally able to do with the right practices and techniques. Ignoring or withholding the scientific research into neuroscience and psychology (which I assume these ‘dream explorers’ are well-versed in, as they often cite various articles/experiments or writers and claim long-term practice of lucid dreaming as qualification for the advice they give when answering queries. It is highly unlikely that someone would maintain several years interest in a fairly obscure area of science/culture without reading expert opinion or considering empirical data which might enhance your own understanding and practice) which offers many simple to follow explanations of the dreaming process and suggestions regarding effective induction, control and recall techniques. Not only are these techniques far more safe and suitable for practice at any age, but they are also rewarding in themselves, enabling the knowledgeable  dream explorer to explore the depths of their own consciousness and psyche without resorting to the consumption of synthetic or impure substances which can alter the brain  chemistry in the short-term, and sometimes permanently.

I'm not in a position to offer drugs education or to preach an anti-drugs discourse (which I do not subscribe to in any event, I'm not a hypocrite or a morally self-righteous person), I'm simply commenting on the attitudes of some dream explorers who propagate (selfishly and recklessly) on the supposed advantages of illegal drugs on dreaming, often misleadingly citing Strassman's work as justification for their stance. Strassman himself speaks out against the recreational use of psycho-active drugs and in any event, bases his theory on apparent evidence that the brain is able to naturally create organic forms of synthetic and organically derived (but often human-manipulated and profitable) drugs. When referencing Strassman, many people tend to only quote the sections of his work which seem to suggest that dream states are best accessed through DMT, an experience which is prohibited due to (primarily American) drugs laws and public policy on controlled substances - in fact, he urges for the further empirical testing of his theories of endogenous DMT by bio-chemists and neuroscientists who would be able to ascertain how the pineal gland affects states of consciousness.

My main problem is with recommendations from self-proclaimed experienced dream explorers, who give out dangerous advice to people online without knowing how that person will act upon what they are told. Sometimes I read other people's online dream diaries and lucid dream experiences - either in Blog form or in the comments section beneath lucid dream Youtube videos - and many people recount a lucid dream happening every night or every time the dreamer 'wills' it to happen. Such stories are often accompanied by tips such as 'smoke cannabis before you sleep and you will definitely lucid dream'. I would never advocate illegal drug use for lucid dreaming or for any other purpose - if you use drugs already and have found they have an effect on your dreaming which you wish to share, that's very interesting - but many lucid dream explorers tend to (a) exaggerate quantities/types of drugs taken prior to dreaming; and (b) recommend their drugs of choice to other online dream explorers, particularly those who are asking for advice or tips. I find this dangerous, particularly as some of the online explorers seem to be quite young and impressionable. I have read several accounts from oneironauts - possibly better termed 'psychonauts' who say they smoke/inject DMT every night for better lucid dreams. Whilst I have no authority over this matter, I can safely say it is unlikely someone could tolerate daily DMT sessions or that they would have regular access to such a rarely found illegal substance (by 'rare' I mean, in it's extracted 'recreational' form, sold as a 'street drug'). The most aggravating aspect of this is the fact that such 'tips' tend to be given when a less-experienced dream explorer asks for help, because they have 'tried everything else'. Instead of asking whether the dream explorer has actually tried all forms of lucid dream induction techniques (such as legal, over-the-counter LDS; brain entrainment using binaural beats; meditation and dream incubation; WBTB method, amongst many others) and ascertaining whether the inexperienced lucid dreamer has put in the requisite time and effort needed to 'train' the brain to maintain consciousness during sleep. Like yoga, lucid dreaming practice is not a quick fix and there are no real short-cuts which will be an intense or satisfying as developing a lifelong, well-honed and controllable practice.

Whilst I do sometimes take (legal, natural) LDS and write articles on them and the benefits they may possess for lucid dreaming, all the supplements I refer to can be bought from pharmacies and health stores, without prescription and I would take them anyway, regardless of their effect on dreaming, because of the general health benefits associated with each (for example 5-HPT has been found to be of benefit to bi-polar (manic depressive) or chronic depression sufferers, because of its effect on serotonin production. I therefore use 5-HTP to boost and retain my serotonin levels (as well as for dreaming purposes) as I have trouble with sustaining the correct chemical balance in my brain, especially in colder, darker seasons and was originally prescribed SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and other anti-depressants to do the same thing. I choose not to use prescription medication and since taking my dream exploration more seriously, have managed to resist the need to use strong prescription sleeping pills as I actively look forward to going to bed. Analysing my own dreams has also helped my mental balance and ability to analyse my problems internally rather than reacting emotionally or aggressively out of frustration or fear. However, I am keen not to place too much emphasis on external stimulus such as chemicals - I want my brain to naturally produce the experiences I am seeking, not simply for recreation, but also for self-learning and developing my intuition and mental control. I feel many online dream explorers do not approach lucid dreaming in the same way - treating it like a mental 'drug trip' which is triggered by consuming drugs. If you need drugs to lucid dream it is the trip or high from the changes in your brain chemistry, caused by consumption of the drugs, which is the experience you are enjoying - not the harnessing of conscious or control of the mind during sleep, which is the true aim of the oneironaut. I have been undertaking a serious investigation of all aspects of dreaming - psychological, neurological, spiritual and psychedelic - for around 8 - 9 months and in that time I have had two full dreams and a small handful of normal dreams which involved short periods of lucidity being triggered. I think this is normal - there is no way I would expect to become lucid in every dream, or even on a weekly basis, until I am further in my studies and practices. Unfortunately, although my Blog articles and advice has been very positively received on the whole (thank you to my lovely readers who regularly email me to discuss my Blog or ask for help/further information), one a couple of occasions, I have received messages from other dream explorers who accuse me of 'spamming' or being a 'troll' (I posted a suggestion that dream explorers, who were asking many various questions under relevant Youtube videos on this topic, might like to visit my Blog for answers; I didn't post my URL, just told them what to Google to find me and how I would be happy to help them with any queries). I really don't care about the insults these people (who consider themselves to be serious dream explorers) want to throw in my direction, but I do take issue to the fact that both of those persons who wrote the nasty emails (one of which also referred to me as a 'bitch' and told me they hoped I would die, LOL) were also using the Youtube comments section advocate the use of LSD (not lucid dream supplements - actual LSD acid); DMT; mushrooms; cannabis; and a whole range of other illegal substances to those asking the questions about lucid dreaming - some of whom had mentioned they were still at school. There was no discussion about the consequences or likely effect of taking such drugs - these 'dream explorers' just pushed the message that a lucid dream would definitely result from taking them. This is not true. I notice that I often have a false awakening/lucidity when I drink alcohol then take a nap - however I do not drink alcohol regularly and never for the purposes of lucid dreaming, as my health is more important and I wish to use my SOBER brain and organic mental faculties to achieve my goals rather relying on ‘synthetic induction’. This is really all I wish to say on this topic, but if any of my readers have any comments or questions in relation to this post (or any other posts on this Blog) please feel free to contact me in the comments section below, by email (tallulahlaghash@hotmail.co.uk) or via my Twitter account (@tallulahlaghash).

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Dream 80

I was walking outside, in the dark - it was night-time. I came to a row of benches, where it seemed that a group of refugees were crowded, with their belongings scattered around on the floor. I thought the benches were some form of shelter for homeless people, but as I got closer I realised it was a bus terminal, or similar. There was a clear glass screen and this area was surrounded by trees. I stood alongside the row of benches and noticed that the people seated were in fact children of various ages. However, they all looked very similar, with huge round faces and sandy brown hair, in a 'bowl cut'. Their faces were covered in freckles. The people standing were adults. I walked along the row of children on benches, looking at them. As I got to each one they would open their mouths and smile widely at me. Their teeth were enormous - each one was about the size of a credit card, but perfectly square, and just off-white in colour. I turned to one of the adults standing up - a blonde, middle-aged woman in a camel-colour trench coat. She had shopping bags full of Christmas decorations. As if explaining why the children had such large teeth, she said: "Those are JFK's relatives..." I was satisfied by her explanation.

I was then in PC's living-room in her home in Sheringham. It was still very dark. It seemed like it might be Christmas, but I could not see normal decorations. There was a tall, thin, dark haired elderly male, seated at the table with a line of red paper-wrapped boxes in front of him. I do not recall the conversation I had with him.

I was then upstairs in my bedroom at PC's house with PS. The room appeared to be longer, with new item of furniture in it, such as a beech-coloured wooden counter (where one of the beds should be), which PS was standing behind. I had asked PS for a money loan, and he was telling me why he would not lend me the money. He said that he was paying off the debts of E (in real-life E is a younger male, known to me in person, and known to PS and through the hip hop community as an events organiser and rapper). I asked him why he was paying E's debts and he said he wanted to be with E, he made him more happy than I could. I asked him if E had promised to supply him with women in return for paying his debts and PS said 'yes' - he and E would be going out to meet women brown-haired women together. I felt very angry. I found myself standing in the middle of the staircase at PC's house, thinking about this situation and trying to work out what to do to change it. I woke up.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Dream 79

I only recall a single, vague scene from this dream. I was in a darkish room. There were other people in the room, but I have no recollection of who. I was painting my nails using a bottle of deep scarlet red nail polish. The bottle was larger than a normal size - about the same circumference and half the height of a regular can of Coke. The nail polish was really tacky and dried up and wouldn't paint smoothly onto my nails. I put the lid back on the bottom and held the bottle up to the light so I could see what was wrong with it. As I looked into the glass bottle, with the light shining behind it, I could see there was a glass 'shelf' at the bottom of the bottle. It was if I could see the red polish, but also see through it at the same time. There was shit (faeces) on this 'shelf' inside the bottle.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Dream 78

I had so much deep sleep to catch up on, I wasn't sure if I would have many dreams which I would recall. I also drank quite a bit of vodka the night of this dream, so I was not sure what effect this would have on my dreaming (sometimes alcohol can trigger lucidity in my experience, although some research has found that alcohol can inhibit REM sleep - it may be that I am having an REM rebound effect). I did indeed have a dream, but even though I concentrated really hard on recalling it, as soon as I woke up, the memory was very confused. I will do my best to record it below. I am not sure what this dream means - I have not yet made any attempts to interpret it - but when I woke up I felt uneasy, as if I had 'witnessed' or experienced something of significance in that dream. I wish I could remember it more vividly.

I was in some room - I am not sure what the room looked like; what time of day it was; or whom was with me. There was a black carpet and the lighting was bright and I could see clearly. There was a chalk circle on the black carpet - about the size of a beach-ball, approximately. There were items inside the chalk circle - I am not sure what they were, but two of them were white and cylindrical, standing on their 'base'. The other item was a black handbag - shiny black patent leather. I picked this item up from the floor, not knowing who it belonged to. At this moment, I saw two or three pairs of legs - male and dressed in suit trousers and smart shoes - from the floor up to knee height and realised I was crouching on the floor, next to the chalk circle. The next thing I remember is placing the handbag down on a surface which was waist-height for me. I think I was still in the same room. The surface looked like a laboratory work surface of some kind, but I could not make out any other details of the room. The three males - who I could now see where normal-looking, but unfamiliar, middle-aged men, dressed for business, were standing on the other side of the counter/surface. I was asked (I cannot recall their words, only my answer) where I had got the bag from. I replied: "I picked it up from the circle". I could not see that the handbag was no longer made of black patent leather, but was clear plastic so I could see through to the contents inside. There was a 350ml bottle of whisky in the bag - it looked 3/4 full, but the liquid was very orange in colour. There were other items in the bag. I reached in and found a USB memory stick. It was soaking wet, drenched in the liquid. I thought to myself that the bottle must have come open in the bag and spilt. I was holding the USB memory stick in my outstretched arm. The males looked disappointed with me. One of them said: "You shouldn't have messed around with that!"

I was then in a dark room I could not make out. I could see very little at all, but in front of me were three white things (approximately the size of shoeboxes, and apparently square or rectangular in shape). There was a woman in the room with me. I could not see her at all and I do not know who she was. She was trying to order the three white objects, but I could not work out how she was doing so. It seemed that she was constantly listing the names of the objects (I cannot remember what she was saying, it was as if she was repeating three words - which related to the objects - in different orders). I felt as though I should offer to help her. I found myself in a situation where I was (in the dream) unsure of what the objects were, but I was repeating the words said by the woman (whom I still could not see properly, or do not remember seeing) and trying to make logical sense of the task. Even in the dream I was confused as to what this all means. 

I then saw a screen from a mobile telephone - seemingly mine. It was very large, almost laptop-sized. There was a text from PP. It said: "The three vistas are here". I could not make out the text in readable words - it all looked jumbled and blurry on the illuminated screen. I have no idea what this means, but in the dream it felt like the message was of great significance. 

I then was with EB. I couldn't really 'connect' with him, it was if we were in the same presence, but isolated and unable to communicate. All I could see was the back of his head. I could see no other details in the room - everything was really vague. I reached out and touched the back of EB's

I was back in the mysterious dark room with the three white objects and the unseen woman. Now, I think, there were more of the items. I could see the unseen woman was wearing a white apron and knew she was undertaking this task as part of a perpetual, endless task. The main memories of this dream scene were sounds, not visions. The objects were being categorised and ordered - again by the repetition of their 'names' and I knew that every time the list of names was read out, the white objects (I have no idea exactly how many there were now...) were shuffled around and their position in the line changed. I could hear the words being said, very loud and in staccato-style. I am not sure if the unseen woman in the white apron was actually saying them - it sounded like the voice was that of a children's television presenter and the direction of the sounds came from above my head. I kept hearing the same words repeated, but always in a different order. The words I recall upon waking are: "Sta", "Ska","Sakat", "Staka", "Kasa", "Skatta", "Seka", "Aksa", "Aska". I thought it was strange that all the words were made up of 'A,S,K,T,E' only. I woke up.